Conservative MEPs mark World Diabetes Day with young people from across Europe

31 million and rising - cases of diabetes increasing at alarming rate across the EU

Young people with diabetes have been discussing their experiences and the challenges they face with Conservative MEPs during the first World Diabetes Day, marked at the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week

The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day campaign is ‘diabetes in children and adolescents’. Youngsters visiting the Parliament from across Member States, including the UK, called for help to improve the lives of children with diabetes at school in particular.

Diabetes affects more than 31 million people in the EU and the number is expected to rise by 20 per cent by 2025.

Each year, a massive 70,000 children under 14 years old develop type 1 diabetes, which cannot be prevented. Worryingly, children and adolescents are increasingly affected by type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to obesity.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“The young people visiting the European Parliament have type 1 diabetes, incidents of which are growing by three per cent a year in children and adolescents and at an alarming five per cent a year among pre-school children.

“Diabetes is one of the leading causes of premature death in most developed countries and at present there is no cure. But certainly more could be done to help young people dealing with this condition every day of their lives.

“It is extremely important that when children are not at home with their families or carers, safe and supportive environments are created to facilitate effective management of the condition, enabling children to lead happy and healthy lives. The school situation is in this respect critical.

“Dealing with this condition as a child can be a big challenge and we have some very courageous young people here today. They have coped with diabetes and their families have coped and they deserve to have our full support.”

Underneath the Diabetic Arch in Parliament

Underneath the Diabetic Arch in Parliament

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